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Double-digit increases expected for U.S. imports of Chilean cherries

The Chilean Cherry Committee, an entity associated with the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, expects total exports of fresh cherries from Chile to reach 100,000 tons this year. As the second-largest export market for Chile, North America anticipates a 45 percent increase in volume over the 2013/14 season.

To support this dramatic growth, the Chilean Cherry Committee is pursuing a targeted promotion campaign across the United States and Canada, with increased funding earmarked for retail promotions.

chileancherries "Thanks to an extraordinarily successful harvest, we're going to see increased volume and promotions in North America," Karen Brux, managing director of North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said in a press release. "The Chilean Cherry Committee is committed to expanding the North American market for Chilean cherries, and we have promotion funding available for retailers to make that happen. We're in the process of meeting with retailers to confirm holiday promotions."

This year's strong harvest is positive news for the Chilean cherry industry, which was hard hit in 2013 by a devastating freeze.

"The initial estimate for 2013-14 was 85,000 tons, but after the freeze this dropped to 68,000 tons," Brux said in the press release. "With Chile on track to export at least 100,000 tons during the 2014-15 season, this is a significant step for the industry. It's also great news for North American retailers, who want to offer their shoppers a beautiful, premium, great-tasting fruit over the holiday season."

Chile is the largest cherry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest exporter of cherries in the world. Fresh cherries from Chile are available in December and January, with export peaks expected from weeks 49-51.

The Chilean Cherry Committee is offering holiday-themed point-of-sale merchandising materials that encourage shoppers to "bring home the cherry best." Supporting recipes, images and other materials are available for both in-store and online marketing.

The Chilean Cherry Committee was formed under the auspices of ASOEX, which is based in Santiago, Chile. The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association is its North American counterpart and directs all marketing and promotional activities for fresh Chilean fruit in the United States and Canada.